I first came upon this project by Kevin Rivoli back in February of this year. I was looking for photographers who had attended a Syracuse University Women’s basketball game and came upon his name. Kevin is a freelance photographer in Auburn, New York, who frequently covers news and sporting events for the Associated Press in the upstate New York region. In searching around, I came upon a few articles about Kevin’s interest in showing people that Norman Rockwell, the famous illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post, was depicting America correctly in his paintings and drawings.
Kevin did not agree with the critics of Norman Rockwell who said what he painted did not exist in “real” America. Over Kevin’s career as a photographer, he has seen and photographed many scenes which strongly resemble some of Norman Rockwell’s work or captured the spirit of it. This disagreement cumulated into a new book released earlier this week called In Search of Norman Rockwell’s America. I would tell you more about it but I think Kevin does it best with this video introduction:
With Norman Rockwell’s paintings and Kevin’s photographs, there are narratives from collectors, celebrities, sports heros, politicians, citizens and family of Mr. Rockwell. By far the most interesting ones for me were from neighbors of Norman Rockwell who he used as models for many of his paintings. You’ll find mixed in quotes from Norman Rockwell giving us a little insight into how he felt about his work.
Right from the beginning, I always strived to capture everything I saw as completely as possible. — Norman Rockwell
I attended a public book signing for Kevin’s book about three weeks ago. Got to meet him and get a signed copy of his book before they went on sale to the public. Kevin is very talented and nice enough to help a stranger when I was looking for some information. This book was a labor of love for him and his wife and I will be showing it proudly in my home for many years to come.